SoCal's Other Commuter Nightmare - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

SoCal's Other Commuter Nightmare

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Unbearable traffic and long commutes are as much a part of Southern California living as our enviable weather. In some ways I consider myself fortunate. I wake up at 2 A.M. and get off work around 11 A.M. just before the noon traffic rush. It typically takes me under thirty minutes to travel to and from work, even though I drive about 42 miles round trip. Still, even with my schedule, I am not immune to the frustrating, often painstaking effort of getting from one place to another in SoCal.

However, a new study reveals long, arduous commutes may be doing a lot more damage to your life than just getting on your nerves. It may also be taking a huge toll on your relationship. A new Swedish study shows couples who commute more than 45 minutes each day have a 40 percent higher chance of separating. If you think about it, that's a stunning statistic. University of Washington sociology professor Pepper Schwartz says "long commutes mean less time, less quality time and more the end of a long commute, the last thing any couple wants to do is talk." Apparently that lack of communication can lead to a break down in the relationship, which can eventually lead to separation or even divorce.

But according to the study, where you live determines how long you can be on the road before you reach your breaking point. For instance, couples in Los Angeles can "handle" a 90 minute overall commute while couples in New York will come loose at the seams after 60 minutes. And couples in Seattle are even less tolerant of traffic with a 35 minute limit.

If a long commute is absolutely unavoidable, Schwartz suggests that you do your best to communicate with your significant other during the day with text messages and phone calls whenever possible. The key it seems is keeping the lines of communication open to compensate for the lack of communication that can occur after an exhausting, irritating drive home.

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